Moving your parents into your home can be a practical idea for a number of reasons. For example, perhaps your parents require more care as they age. Or maybe the move can help your parents save money rather than paying for an assisted living facility. No matter the reason, moving your parents in is a major transition. And unfortunately, it isn’t always easy.
From the lack of privacy to differing lifestyles, cohabiting with other adults can seriously affect the harmony of your humble abode. And if your parents are elderly, caring for them can add an extra layer of difficulty.
Luckily, with a bit of patience and practical tips, you can have a healthy, happy relationship with your parents even when they live with you. To find out how, here are nine tips for staying sane in multi-generational households:
Before your parent(s) move in, create and set clear boundaries and expectations so that you can maintain your privacy and personal space when living together.
To avoid future conflict, consider designating rooms and areas of the home for your own family and your parents. For example, your parent(s) can enjoy their own bedroom and bathroom while you and the rest of your family share common spaces. This is especially important if you have young children because maintaining a sense of normalcy can ensure they feel safe and secure at home.
When living with so many people, it can become easy to lose yourself. To prevent this from happening, try indulging in self-care on a regular basis. This can be as simple as having alone time or a movie night with your partner. Or, you can go big and treat yourself to a nice massage or your favorite dinner.
Remember communication is key.
When there are too many adults sharing a single space, conflicts can quickly arise. Avoid hurt feelings by communicating clearly and openly about problems as soon as they happen instead of stifling your voice, thus building resentment.
Involve your parents.
More people means more household responsibility. Take the load off by asking your parents to help with household chores such as cooking, washing dishes, or folding laundry. If your parents are elderly, involving them in household responsibilities is a great way to help them stay active.
If you have elderly parents who require special assistance such as bathing, dressing, and administering medicine, consider enlisting the help of an in-home nurse or caregiver. They can handle the hard stuff so you have more time to spend with yourself and your family.
Take a break.
Taking breaks is important, especially when you start feeling overwhelmed. It helps your mind and body to rest and recharge so you return feeling refreshed. You can take a walk or jog around the neighborhood, or you can read a book in another room. Whatever you decide, taking a breather from your responsibilities can do you a world of good.
Join a support group.
Living in multi-generational households is hard. And if your parents require special care, it can be even more taxing. To avoid feeling burnt out, consider joining a caregiver support group to share coping strategies. Having a group of like-minded people to turn to can create a sense of belonging so you feel less isolated.
Catch up regularly.
Try to sit down so that everyone can go over their schedule and responsibilities for that week. This can help prevent future scheduling conflicts so that everyone is on the same page.
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